NS reviews

Reviews of theatre and art in Nova Scotia and beyond

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elissa barnard

I wrote about arts and entertainment for 35 years for the Chronicle Herald and can't give it all up quite yet. My email is elissa.barnard@gmail.com

Joy Laking celebrates winter in children’s book, Colours in Winter

  Joy Snihur Wyatt Laking brings colour to winter’s white in a playful children’s picture book about learning to see beauty wherever you are. Colours in Winter (Pottersfield Press, $14.95) is about a little girl who wishes winter was full of colour then ends up tangled up in multi-coloured snowflakes to the point she wishes all the colour gone. She then discovers that winter does have its own colours: in […]

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Fly into Never-You-Mind-Land

Kelly Holiff as Captain Hook and her band of scallywags in Neptune Theatre’s send-up of Peter Pan to Jan. 11. (Stoo Metz) Neptune Theatre’s already-extended Peter Pan is a rollicking, musical comedy of high energy, a lot of silliness and a dazzling array of cultural references. The two-hour, 30-minute show, written and directed by British-born Jeremy Webb, is a Christmas pantomime leaping off from J.M. Barrie’s classic. It’s good to […]

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A riot of realism: three Halifax shows by master Nova Scotian realists

Alan Bateman, North of Woodside, acrylic on canvas, 24” x 36.”  It’s a great time to see high-quality realist art in Halifax right now, all by first-rate, highly experienced Nova Scotia artists. Alan Bateman and Holly Carr are a dynamic art couple exhibiting together in Light in the Forest at Secord Gallery, 6301 Quinpool Rd. Their works are on view until the gallery’s Christmas show opens Nov. 29. The two […]

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Tiny is a big, multimedia experience

Ursula Calder and Stewart Legere in a scene from Tiny, by Bruce Barton, on view to Nov. 17. (Mel Hattie) Tiny is a mesmerizing, multimedia experience of an historical, sci fi world within the old NSLC store at Scotia Square. A co-production between Eastern Front Theatre and Zuppa Theatre, in association with Vertical City Performance and the Glenbow Museum, it was created by Calgary playwright Bruce Barton and Halifax’s Zuppa […]

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Every Brilliant Thing: theatre that’s good for your mental health

Andrew Chandler in Every Brilliant Thing, at the Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen St., through Sunday, 8 p.m., and 2 p.m. Sunday. (Stoo Metz) Every Brilliant Thing is a tender, extremely funny play about depression and suicide with a wonderful, participatory approach to storytelling. Created by British author Duncan Macmillan with stand-up comic Jonny Donahoe, the 75-minute play is told in the round at the Bus Stop Theatre with Andrew […]

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Of Whales and Men: Artistic Fraud packs a punch – again!

Darryl Hopkins and Steve O’Connell in Neptune Theatre’s presentation of Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland’s Between Breaths, on the mainstage to Nov. 10. (Stoo Metz) Between Breaths is a powerful, poignant, spiritually uplifting story about Newfoundland’s “whale man” that will bring you to tears and leave you in awe. Within just 75 minutes Newfoundland playwright Robert Chafe tunnels inside a marriage, a work relationship, a devastating illness and a passion to […]

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Pleasureville: a fun, Canadian comedy about sex, identity and friendship

Julia Topple and Sherry Smith star in Ellen Denny’s Pleasureville at Neptune’s studio theatre to Oct. 20. (Stoo Metz) Ellen Denny’s Pleasureville, in its world premiere at Neptune Theatre, is a charming, intimate comedy about big issues. The Canadian playwright tackles feminism, gender, identity, politics and friendship in a two-hour drama that celebrates empowerment and the bridging of differences. When Leah decides to move into her late aunt’s country home […]

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Elapultiek back on stage (and by fire)

Two Planks and a Passion Theatre Company opens its tour of  Elapultiek by shalan joudry with two performance by fire today and Sunday at Ross Creek at 7:30 p.m. Read last year’s  review at https://nsreviews.blog/2018/09/06/elapultiek-lovely-fireside-journey-into-a-mikmaw-perspective-on-the-world. Two Planks and a Passion Theatre brings back shalan joudry’s popular 2018 play Elapultiek, a 75-minute tale of healing between cultures and on the land. Tonight and Sunday the play is performed around a blazing […]

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The Last Wife: wonderful herstory of wit, intelligence and court intrigue

Stephanie MacDonald stars at Kate, wife to Jodee Richardson’s King Henry VIII, in Neptune Theatre’s season-opening, mainstage production of The Last Wife, to Oct. 6. (Stoo Metz) The Last Wife, starring Stephanie MacDonald as the indomitable, passionate and intelligent Catherine Parr,  is a deliciously-dramatic, fast-paced story about women,  power and survival. Neptune’s production of Ontario playwright Kate Hennig’s 2015 drama, which sold out in its Stratford Festival debut, is expertly […]

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Broadway Boyz charm their audience

Garry Williams, Patrick Maubert and Forbes MacQuarrie in DaPoPo Theatre’s Broadway Boyz at the Halifax Fringe.  While not exactly as advertised, Broadway Boyz is an endearing, honest show about three queer men exploring their dreams of Broadway and what happened in reality. The buzz around this show is due to its musically brilliant co-creator Garry Williams, who won the 2019 Merritt Award for original score for Kamp, and who wrote […]

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